Welcome To Our 1 Man Kitchen

A Long Time Ago in a Kitchen Far, Far Away: Episode 1

1 Man's Opinion 42

The Scenario:

It's May The Fourth and that means Star Wars! May The Fourth Be With You! And Star Wars means lightsabers. An elegant weapon from a more civilized age, and one of the manliest damned things ever dreamed up, combining swords and lasers (I know it's not technically a laser, but still) into one big tube of awesome! So to celebrate this holiday, I want to share some Star Wars inspired snacks with you that you can enjoy while watching the films, or beating eachother with glowing sticks, or both, and I definitely want to talk about those glowing sticks!

Lightsaber replica technology has come a long way since the movies first became a merchandising monster in the 1980s and now there are companies all over that claim to make the biggest, baddest, brightest, loudest lightsabers to grace the wall of your man cave. I've been into the custom lightsaber scene for years now, so I feel qualified to offer up a primer on the fascinating world of lightsaber replicas and combat lightsabers! To start off, they're not one in the same:

A replica lightsaber, typified by those produced by Hasbro and, before that, Master Replicas, under the Force FX line, is a show piece and not meant to be struck or even really swung around. Look at the prices for some and you'll see why – some of the rare models from lesser known characters can go for four or five hundred dollars! Though the ones usually available in stores typically go for around 100. One of the cool things about these replicas is that the design is, more or less, accurate to those used in the movies. It's a great way to get more in touch with your favorite characters by handling a replica of the props they used. For instance, when you examine Luke's lightsaber from Return of The Jedi, you'll see that its based on Obi Wan Kenobi's hilt from A New Hope, that he modeled his own lightsaber after the one used by his mentor rather than trying to create one more similar to his father's. Or Ahsoka Tano's lightsaber from Clone Wars, which incorporate's elements of Anakin and Obi Wan's sabers to create something unique.

In the next article, I'll discuss combat lightsabers and the various companies producing them, but just talking about lightsabers gives me an appetite, so here's a bold and hot cheeseball that'll be a big hit at your Star Wars gathering.

Spicy Stormtrooper Cheese Ball

1 lb cream cheese, softened

7 oz sharp white cheddar, grated

1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped into small pieces

3-6 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp teaspoon onion powder

1 tsp black pepper

1-2 tsp grated horseradish

a few drops of your favorite hot sauce

1 tsp sour cream

3 large black olives

crackers to serve with

A drop of black food coloring

How To Do It:

Put your garlic, hot sauce, horseradish and seasonings into a food processor and give it a quick spin. Add the cream cheese and shredded white cheddar in and spin once again to mix it up. It helps if you let the cream cheese warm up for a bit first to soften, just set it out on the counter for an hour or so. Once it's blended, remove about 2-4 tbsp of cream cheese and set it in a small bowl off to the side. We'll come back to that later. Add the almonds to the food processor and blitz it once more.

Remove the cheese mixture and form into a sort of bell shape in the center of a plate. Now take the olives and cut one in half in the center for the two circular breather things on the stormtrooper helmet. Cut the next olive into quarters along the length of it and place the long strips between the two round ones in the center of the helmet. Refer to this image as a guide https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1257/6291/products/ANH-ST-Helmet---Front_grande.png?v=1468378479

Cut the last olive in thin strips and use those for the vents on the sides of the helmet, about 6 per side should do the trick. Now once that's done, go back to the cheese mixture you set aside and mix in just enough soure cream to make it just a little loose, and then add the black food coloring. It doesnt need to be super dark, just enough. If you add too much it'll color the rest of the cheese ball it touches.

Now snip just a tiny bit of the tip off the corner of a Ziploc bag and put your black cheese mixture in there. By squeezing it into that corner now you can press it out onto the cheese ball to finish the stormtrooper pattern. Serve with crackers and enjoy!

Serves 6-10 hungry Star Wars fans

I've been cooking for most of my life, from helping my Nonna cook while visiting her in the North of Italy to my apprenticeship with Chef Lucas Woodruff. My background as a chef is strongly in good, casual Southern and Italian cuisine and new, creative favorites. I'm all about rich, vibrant flavors and how to combine them. I'm also the last chef you'll ever see doing any of this fad diet nonsense, so if you're looking for the kettlegenic, cave man diet, or some gluten free deal, look elsewhere. Just good, unpretentious food for hungry people here.

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